Archive for March, 2010

After this weekend, you’ll find the Butler didn’t do it!

March 31, 2010

By: Nate Jervey
Assistant Sports Information Director

How ironic is it that Butler University, this year’s Cinderella of March Madness (I get that Michigan State is also a #5 seed, but who really thought that Butler of all schools would be in the Final Four) plays its home games in none other than Hinkle Fieldhouse. For those of you that don’t know, Hinkle Fieldhouse was the setting for the climactic scene in one of the most iconic sports movies of all time — Hoosiers. The same Hoosiers movie that told the true story of little Hickory High School and its improbable, near impossible run to the Indiana State High School Championship in 1954 and here we are in 2010 and Butler has a chance to do something similar.

I have had the luxury of visiting Hinkle Fieldhouse, which is really not much more than a pole barn to a layperson looking at the outside of it. But this is the pole barn where Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper led a spunky group of farm boys from Hickory High School to a two-point victory over Muncie Central some 56 years ago. Actually, the movie was made in 1986, which may have been before Butler Head Coach Brad Stevens was born (I mean seriously, have you seen this guy?).

Now, Butler may not be the largest of underdogs as they were ranked 10th in the county entering the season. The Bulldogs ran through the Horizon League (not exactly the Big East but…) undefeated and they currently own the longest winning streak in the country. Many of these stats would seem to bode well for a team making a Final Four appearance, but many (myself included) are not giving the Bulldogs much of a chance in Indianapolis.

Butler plays in the Horizon League where it beats up on the likes of Youngstown State and Wright State. Pretty sure the I.M. team that I play on could go .500 or better against them, so as far as the undefeated conference season and winning streak are concerned, I am not impressed.

Can you name three different players for Butler? Go ahead. How many did you get? One? Two? My point exactly. When was the last time that a team won National Championship with fewer than three recognizable names? I, for one, can’t seem to recall one, so that would also seem to not bode well for the Bulldogs.

The 12-year old doppelganger Brad Stevens and his bunch are making the school’s first trip to the Final Four where they are set to face off against, arguably, one of the most accomplished NCAA coaches of the last 20-30 years. Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo has his team in the Final Four for the second year in a row and for the sixth time in the last 12 years. I know that the Spartans don’t have their best player as Kalin Lucas is done for the season with a torn achilles tendon, but if there is a single coach in the country that I don’t want to face in March, its none other than Tom Izzo. On this point, I just don’t think that Stevens and his crew are up to it, despite being favored heading into the weekend.

So Butler’s winning streak and record mean little to me, it has MAYBE one household name on its roster and it will be taking on the Dean of this season’s Final Four (sorry Coach K). All of these things combined and I just don’t see it happening for the Bulldogs and their fans. Butler’s home gym may have been the site for a penultimate clash between spunky underdog and confident heavyweight in a Hollywood movie, but this is not Hollywood and I just don’t see the Bulldogs being able to pull off a Hickory-like upset in Indianapolis.

So if I don’t like Butler to win it, who do I like? Well, I think that Duke survives as rugged game against West Virginia and takes down MSU in the title game to break the hearts of Spartans fans for the second time in as many years.

The tournament up until this point has been one of the best that I can recall. Upsets galore, great finishes, great individual performances and plenty of interesting stories that CBS can spotlight in one of those dimly-lit pieces with Gus Johnson or Jim Nantz doing a voice-over telling us of the trials and tribulations of a certain coach, team, player.  It has been a lot of fun to watch and I am looking forward to this weekend’s final three games. Though I would have preferred to watch Kansas vs. Kansas State, but oh well.

Advertisements

A Smart Team & A Great Place For Kids

March 29, 2010

By: Wendy Orrison
Head Field Hockey Coach

I have two threads of thought this morning.  First I want to take this opportunity to make a public shout out for the field hockey team.  Each year the National Field Hockey Coach’s Association honors collegiate field hockey teams with GPA’s above 3.0 and individuals who have maintained a GPA of 3.3. Washington and Lee was one of 95 teams to produce the needed team grade-point average and our cumulative GPA of 3.47 was tied with Swarthmore College and Richard Stockton College for the second-highest team GPA in all of Division III; furthermore there were 16 individuals who earned the 3.3 or better.  The second-highest GPA in the nation (among DIII) isn’t that impressive?  I dug a little deeper to see how Richard Stockton and Swarthmore did this past season they went 4-14 and 5-13 respectively compared to our record of 10-7.   I feel so fortunate to be able to work with these incredibly smart and hard working young women.  We are in the midst of our non-traditional season right now.  We have one week left to go and it has been a fantastic off season.  The players are on-time and committed, they are serious about improving their game of field hockey, as well as their fitness.  I wasn’t sure how it would go – having the off-season during winter term – but it has been fine.  I know that the women have a lot of outside commitments, as well as their school work, but they have never complained, at least not to my face, and I have been truly impressed with their work ethic.  It is really no surprise to me that this group of women produced a combined GPA of 3.47 because they have the determination and grit to earn it.

The other point I want to make this morning is along the same lines … a continuation of why I love working here.  There was a huge track and field event here this weekend. About 12 schools were here in Lexington to compete in the W&L carnival.  On Friday, Kris Hoey sponsored a 50M run for children ages 2-5, and I signed up Nellie. Carlisle took part in a mile run that was also for community runners. That group ended up being mostly middle-schoolers, 9-13 year olds.  Anyway it was faculty and staff children that ran the 50 M; about 6 kids showed up and then 5 actually ran.  One boy decided to be the official starter instead of running.  Nellie (my 4 year old) and her friend Chase (Kris’s 4 year old) ran a good hard race but did a U- turn about 5 feet short of the end line to go back the other way.  Carlisle (my 7 year old) started the mile but decided to quit because he realized he was going to be last.  We had some long talks about that, trust me.  The coach’s kid quitting-yikes!  What’s the old saying about water and horses?  Anyway, all of this background information is just a lead up to my main point.  Many folks there at the meet wandered over to cheer on the 6 little kids and then folks were cheering all the way around the track for the mile run.  When Carlisle quit a young woman from another university offered to run with Carlisle so that he wouldn’t quit.  Jan, the AD and Eddie, our do everything guy, were both near Carlisle when he started to walk and they both tried to encourage him to keep going.  No one was critical of him (except his parents) and many were cheering him on and her encouraging him to finish.

A college campus is just a great place for kids.  So many of the student’s know my children and even when they don’t, I find them supportive and polite.  The staff at W&L is always extremely helpful and kind to my kids:  cheering them on in this setting, allowing them to play in the training room with old rolls of tape, letting them ride on the Gator, but always saying hello and making them feel important and welcome.  Smart and nice, two pretty important attributes, in my opinion.

What’s in a song?

March 26, 2010

By: Rachel Buck
Sports Information Assistant

Throughout this season, I’ve listened to a variety of warm-up music. And when I say variety, I mean variety; rap, rock, country and even Miley Cyrus (props to the women’s lax team for making my spring a little more enjoyable by NOT including her) covered almost the entire gamut of music selections out there.

And that made me think … what’s in a song?

Music can set a mood. When I’m running, I want high-energy; when I’m in a dance mood, I want great upbeats; if I’m upset I want some hard rock. So when it comes to warm-up music, I always considered it almost a man-up advantage to be playing at home and hearing the music that helps you get ready for a game. It sets a tone; it gets you excited and really establishes the home-court advantage. But after that chosen music is played during the hour leading up to a game, I’ve always wondered how timeout/halftime/intermission music affects players’ attitudes.

Is there a point where music becomes just white noise to players and more amusement for the fans? Obviously nobody wants to jam out to 4 Non Blondes or some sappy love song while they’re playing, but if a player heard a less-than-desirable song would it mess with their psyche or do they just block it out? And if that’s the case, does the music then become property of the fans in attendance, either fueling them to heckle the player and/or rain boos on the opposition?

If I were a player, I think I would feed off any sub-par or mocking song an opposing team would play (and with my last name I’m sure they would be able to come up with a few). You want to play a song that you think is going to get under my skin? Watch me take this to the net/deep. I’ve always secretly wished that I would be the beer batter at a minor league baseball game. You know, that one visiting player with the most strikeouts that the home team pegs to continue the trend, therefore discounting the price of beer for the fans the rest of the game. And they always play some cheesy song to go with the title that fires-up the crowd and gets them in a heckling mood. Well, I’d wear that title with honor, hoping to blast one out of the park every at-bat. It may lets the fans down and lessen their drunken stupor, but at least I overcame the title and embarrassment of a horrible at-bat song.

Another personal favorite was watching former Milwaukee Admiral Jordin Tootoo (now with the NHL parent Nashville) at opposing arenas. They used to play “Don’t Mess with my Tutu” anytime he would end up in the penalty box, which he did frequently. Early in his years, he would be frustrated and come out of the box with even more anger, usually resulting in a five-minute major or other stupid penalty. But as he matured, he embraced the song and even did a little dance when they showed him in the box while playing the song. Pretty soon the arenas stopped playing because they knew it no longer bothered him. Talk about adaptation!

Now I never played sports on a collegiate or professional level, but I was known to take to the ice for a few games of pond hockey. So just like the episode of Family Guy where Peter gets his own theme music, below I have comprised a list of some of the top music I would like to hear before taking to the ice and/or throughout a game:

“Hell Yeah” by Rev Theory – Reminds me of my time last year with the Washington Capitals. They did a “Rockband” intro video to this song with Ovi on the mic and if I may use an Ovi Russian-ism it was “sick.”

“We Ready” by Archie – Reminds me of Marquette basketball and my freshman year when we made it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four! It also brings back scarring memories of watching our non-rhythmic student section trying to dance.

“Bodies” by Drowning Pool – always loved the song.

“Bring Em Out” by T.I. – I’m sure a lot of teams have used it, but reminds me of my Brewers.

“Poker Face” by Lady GaGa – I’m a GaGa-aholic, there is no way I could leave her off the list. Feeds my need to dance.

“All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix – Another song I just love.

“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes – Classic athletics song.

“Little Secrets” by Passion Pit – Was recently introduced to this band and fell in love with them. Just a great song.

“Uprising” by Muse – Another good jam song.

“Tick Tick Boom” by The Hives – My music source, Compton, recommended this song and she didn’t lead me astray.

“In the Air Tonight” by Nonpoint – Sure, you hear this song and you think of Mike Tyson singing in “The Hangover”. I think this is a better version of the song than the one by Phil Collins when it comes to sports.

“Boom Boom Pow” by Black Eyed Peas – If anyone from the 1203 back in MKE is reading this, you know why.

“The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson – I’ve loved this song for a while, and it will probably remain on my favorites playlist for years to come.

“Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson – Years ago there was an office with two Rachels, and anytime Rachel #1 would visit Rachel #2 it was a freakish occurrence that this song would be playing. And that’s how this song became my theme song. Much like GaGa, I am an MJ-aholic.

“Fuego” by Pitbull – Love to dance, love to lighten the mood, love this song.

“Let it Rock” by Kevin Rudolf – Another song I fell in love with last year with the Caps.

“Electric Feel” by MGMT – Makes me want to dance, plus it’s just a feel-good song.

“Remember the Name” by Fort Minor – I love the beat of this song, and the lyrics aren’t too shabby either.

“Shake It” by Metro Station – Another song that no matter my mood it makes me want to dance and gets me excited.

“Next in Line” by Meese – Can’t take credit for this one (again). Props to Compton for adding this to my music collection, because it has now become a regular.

“Too Fake” by Hockey – Hockey: a band that doesn’t play the sport and isn’t from Canada. Surprising, with a name like that. Entire album is phenomenal, but this is probably my fav.

“Superstar” by Lupe Fiasco – This shoutout goes to Cassie, as we fondly reminisce about our days as Brewers season ticket holders and how we would laugh at Braun when he was at-bat J

“Cochise” by Audioslave – Another favorite song. May start out slow, but once you’re in, it’s on.

“Amazing” by Kanye West – Big fan of Kanye, lyrical genius (is that trademarked from the South Park episode?!).

“Tell Me When To Go” by E-40 – It’s one of those songs that I’m not quite sure why I like it, but when it’s playing I’m loving it!

The list could go on, but these are definitely tops on the list. Maybe next time I’ll compose a least-favorite song list.

Memory Lane

March 25, 2010

By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

On Tuesday evening, I traveled to Washington, D.C., for the men’s lacrosse team’s game against Middlebury at Georgetown University.  Generally I don’t look forward to these neutral games on another campus, but I was looking forward to Tuesday.  Plenty to do around Georgetown and I was going to be working with former assistant SID Andy Krauss, who lives in the DC area and agreed to help me with stats for the game.

We met up on campus around 2:00 pm with plans to walk around Georgetown a bit (I had never been) and then grab an early dinner before the game.  After clearing a major parking hurdle (even though we were supposed to be cleared to park), we were able to walk through campus and around the Georgetown District.  I had never been to either, so it was interesting to have a walk through a place where the dorm room signs said such horrible things as “Beat Nova” and with the knowledge that such villains as Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo once strolled those sidewalks.

The Exorcist Stairs

Upon stepping off campus, which was in fact quite beautiful for a city campus, there is plenty to do and see … and eat.  Before walking down the stairs from “The Exorcist”, Andy and I visited an establishment called “The Tombs” and had the best burger ever.  I highly recommend it.  Upon Rachel’s recommendation (she got her master’s at Georgetown), I then visited Georgetown Cupcake and got a half-dozen cupcakes.  At $16.00 for six cupcakes, I noted they better be good and Andy confirmed it shortly after taking the first bite of his Lava Fudge cupcake and let out a grunt that said more than any words.  I stashed my cupcakes in my truck to take back to the office, but only four of the six made their way back following the drive home.  Crazy good.

As for the game, the Generals played well, but just couldn’t muster some goals during a key stretch of the third and fourth quarters when they had a chance to pull away a bit.  Three-straight fourth-quarter tallies from the Panthers gave them the win.

As exciting as the game was, it was even better to take a trip down memory lane.  First, working with Andy brought back some memories (he was my very first assistant back in 1998-99), but seeing so many alums in the stands also peaked my interest.  Former W&L men’s lacrosse and basketball player Zeb Mellet ’99 stopped by the press box to chat with Mike Walsh, Andy and I, and it again brought back some great memories.  I only had one year as the SID at W&L while Zeb was an athlete here, but you would have thought it was more than four.  Just really good to catch up and hear how he is doing.  As I looked out the press box at the stands, I also saw such legends as Jack Martin ’08 (Football), Will Englehart ’08 (Lacrosse), Thomas Grattan ’07 (Lacrosse) and Zeb spoke of seeing many others that I remember from their playing days on the fields of Washington and Lee.  It’s crazy to think that there have been more than 1,000 athletes who have graduated after donning the Blue and White during my time as SID and I am proud to see them, hear how they are doing today and recall their past glories.  The only bad thing?  Looking at a face and knowing that they played a sport at W&L … but not recalling their name.  This is where being in the press box helps save you a bit.  Not mingling in the stands at least bought me some time to come back to the office and check the website to find that the player I am referring to is none other than Charlie McCombs ’07.  Sorry Charlie.  Oh well, happens to everyone and it will probably happen with greater frequency ever year from here on out.  As long as I remember more than I forget … and having events like Tuesday’s game in DC will do nothing but help me remember.  Good times and even better memories.

Successful Failure

March 22, 2010

By: Jan Hathorn
Athletic Director

Many years ago I discovered a short article called “Successful Failure”, and it has meant the world to me whenever I feel as if I’m not being successful. It helped me as a coach who was trying to teach the lessons of life to my teams, and it still rings true for me today.  I thought it was worth sharing this priceless piece of wisdom.  I hope you enjoy it.

Successful Failure
One day, the president of a bank announced to one of his younger vice-presidents that he was going to retire and had selected the young man to replace him as president.  The vice-president was overwhelmed by both the honor and the responsibility. After recovering from his surprise, he said, “Thank you, sir!”  And then, in a very serious tone, he told the old man, “I’ve always admired your successful leadership. What’s the key to being successful?”  The old man paused, put his hand to his chin, and replied, “Making good decisions.”  The young man asked, “Where did you learn to make good decisions?”  With a twinkle in his eye, the president replied, “By making bad ones.”

You can’t separate success from failure; they’re two sides of the same coin.  No one learns how to make right decisions without making wrong ones. No one is ever a real success that doesn’t learn from failures.  And in order to have failures, you have to show up and try.

~by Gary Oliver, Chariot Victor Publishing

An Update

March 22, 2010

By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

You may recall that I wrote an entry a little while back about a former W&L men’s basketball coach named Doug Stewart, who is now an assistant coach at Oregon State.  Well, no longer an assistant I should say.  Doug has been promoted to associate head coach at Oregon State.

Picking the National Champion

March 18, 2010

By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

MIDWEST
Sweet 16

1 Kansas vs. 5 Michigan State
From all accounts Tom Izzo is a good guy and a great coach.  Bill Self?  I guess he’s a good coach, but I’ve always despised him.  I feel like he should be selling me a car and telling me why I don’t need a warranty.  Spartans move on.

11 San Diego State vs. 2 Ohio State
Can I possibly have two Big Ten teams meeting here for the right to go to the Final Four in Big Ten Country?  I think not.  Aztecs move on.

Elite Eight
5 Michigan State vs. 11 San Diego State
This is the battle of the ancient civilizations.  The Spartans may have been a little more civilized, but the Aztecs built more impressive structures.  San Diego State and former MICHIGAN head coach Steve Fisher move on to the Final Four!

WEST
Sweet 16
1 Syracuse vs. 5 Butler

Former sports info work study and also a groomsman in my wedding Brendan Harrington is a huge Syracuse fan and I don’t know if it is prudent to pick against him.  I’m trying to think of any link to Butler other than the Final Four is going to be played in its hometown.  That’s too much of a dream scenario for the Bulldogs.  Syracuse moves on and keeps Brendan happy.

2 Kansas State vs. 3 Pittsburgh
John is an assistant AD at Pitt and two years ago he hooked me up with press row seats for the Panthers’ dismantling of a powerhouse known as Houston Baptist in DeJuan Blair’s Panther debut.  Following the game, we liberated the hospitality suite at the Peterson Events Center of its food and alcoholic drinks.  Got to go with Pitt here, right?  Panthers move on.

Elite Eight
1 Syracuse vs. 3 Pittsburgh

Pitt helped provide me with one of the most euphoric moments ever last year when they allowed Scottie Reynolds to dribble coast-to-coast and hit the jumper that sent my beloved Villanova Wildcats to the Final Four, a Final Four that I attended.  Syracuse provided me with my lowest point of this hoops season, an 18-point Nova loss in the Carrier Dome on Feb. 27.  Get yours Pitt!  Panthers win.

EAST
Sweet 16
1 Kentucky vs. 4 Wisconsin

Ashley Judd will most certainly be in the stands for this one and the cameras love her … as do I.  I want to see more Ashley Judd so Kentucky moves on.

2 West Virginia vs. 3 New Mexico
Steve Alford and Bob Huggins are both still rocking the 1980’s “part-in-the-middle” haircut some 20 years later.  Only problem is that Huggins’ is growing far too thin.  Like Sampson, Alford’s hair is his strength.  Lobos move on.

Elite Eight
1 Kentucky vs. 3 New Mexico
Former W&L assistant basketball coach Grant Farmer used to be an assistant at New Mexico where he worked under current UVA assistant coach Richie McKay.  I used to see him on the bench for some of the late night ESPN games when I couldn’t sleep.  I think Grant is no longer coaching, but his spirit lives on with the Lobos.  New Mexico gives John Wall an excuse to no longer have any ties with Kentucky and a semblance of a college life.  Off to the NBA for Wall and onto the Final Four for New Mexico.

SOUTH
Sweet 16

9 Louisville vs. 12 Utah State
I have actually set foot on Louisville’s campus.  I’ve never even seen Utah State from the interstate as I drove by.  Louisville wins.

2 Villanova vs. 11 Old Dominion
Old Dominion’s coach in 1995 was none other than Jeff Capel, Sr.  His son, Jeff Capel, Jr., played at Duke and now coaches at Oklahoma.  I hate Duke so even more reason to go with Nova in this matchup.

Elite Eight
2 Villanova vs. 9 Louisville
We won the regular season meeting.  Why not again?  Nova baby!

FINAL FOUR
11 San Diego State vs. 3 Pittsburgh
What other reasons do I have to pick one of these two teams?  Well, mascots will determine everything from here on out.  An Aztec would sacrifice a Panther more often than it would turn up as a meal for the Panther.  San Diego State to the title game.

2 Villanova vs. 3 New Mexico
A Wildcat vs. a Lobo.  A wildcat is a small feline that only weighs between six and 17 pounds and measures just 18-32 inches long.  A Lobo is a grey wolf that can weigh up to 79 pounds and can be between four and six feet long.  I am of the feeling that a dog would always win a battle against a cat.  Additionally, I hate cats and love dogs.  Looks like I have to pick New Mexico to move on.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
3 New Mexico vs. 11 San Diego State
If we go by the rationale that I used for the Pitt-SDSU game, then San Diego State would win.  However, panthers tend to hunt alone which would make it easier to capture and kill in my opinion.  Wolves on the other hand, they hunt in packs making it very difficult on a single Aztec to capture and kill a wolf without meeting his own demise.  The pack of Lobos sacrifices the Aztecs and cuts down the nets in Indianapolis.  So, there you have it.  New Mexico claims the 2010 NCAA Division I basketball championship!

Lastly, a shout out to Randolph-Macon and Guilford who will both represent the ODAC in the NCAA Division III Final Four this weekend in Salem.  How awesome would it be to see the two teams that met in the ODAC Final play for the national championship on the same floor where Guilford cut down the nets as the ODAC Champion?

Picking the second round

March 17, 2010

By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

MIDWEST
Second Round
1 Kansas vs. 8 UNLV

Former W&L women’s basketball player and Kansas native Sarah Schmidt Zipp posted on my facebook wall “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” after I posted that I was ready for the tournament to begin.  Plus sports info work study student Kristi Stevens is also from Kansas.  Jayhawks blow out the Rebels.

5 Michigan State vs. 4 Maryland
This is a tough one because it pits the future Mrs. Laubscher against a member of the wedding party.  I feel like Sparty could crack Testudo’s shell with his sword so the Spartans advance.

11 San Diego State vs. 14 Ohio
I’ve actually been to both cities where these schools are located and Athens, Ohio doesn’t quite cut it in this battle of the cities.  Aztecs move on.

2 Ohio State vs. 7 Oklahoma State
Which state is better?  They are both flat and both are immersed in agriculture.  Would you rather eat corn or wheat bread?  I don’t know about you, but I’m pumped to start doing some corn on the cob on the grill once it gets warmer.  Buckeyes in a romp.

WEST
Second Round
1 Syracuse vs. 9 Florida State
Both these schools featured great scorers from small schools in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Gerry McNamara of Syracuse and Bob Sura from Florida State.  McNamara led his team to a national title.  Sura only became the all-time leading scorer at FSU.  McNamara’s feat was better.  Syracuse moves on.

5 Butler vs. 13 Murray State
Butler’s coach Brad Stevens looks younger than his players and therefore has plenty of youthful energy to scout the game.  Murray State’s coach Billy Kennedy’s drive to succeed died when his impossible goal of seeing his beloved New Orleans Saints win the Super Bowl actually happened.  Butler moves on.

3 Pittsburgh vs. 11 Minnesota
I have two friends that work at Pitt (former college roommate Steve Anthony & former college wild man John Abrams) and 1 ½ that work at Minnesota (Austin only counts ½ since she is technically a student and the other is really more a friend of a friend that we call Ross Geller instead of his given name of Steven).  Pitt wins.

2 Kansas State vs. 10 Florida
Kansas State wins because the cameras need to get more pictures of Tim Tebow crying.

EAST
Second Round
1 Kentucky vs. 9 Wake Forest
I once had drinks and performed karaoke with John Calipari at a New Year’s Eve party in Easton, Pa.  He seemed like a good guy, but you always wonder how shady he is just under the surface.  Regardless, he tells some crazy stories and for the pure humor he can produce, Kentucky moves on.

4 Wisconsin vs. 12 Cornell
Once the luster of the fact that Cornell may have called me wears off, I am only left with the fact that they have a color for a nickname.  I’ve always hated that (take a lesson Roanoke).  The buzzcuts move on.

3 New Mexico vs. 6 Marquette
I can’t name a single player on New Mexico’s team, but Marquette just beat Villanova in the Big East Tournament and I’m not happy about it.  The Cats defeated New Mexico in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament.  No reason to dislike New Mexico here.  Lobos move on.

2 West Virginia vs. 10 Missouri
West Virginia’s campus is located just 10 miles from the Pennsylvania/West Virginia border so I can technically claim it as a PA school.  I don’t have a single tie to Missouri.  WVU moves on.

SOUTH
Second Round
1 Duke vs. 9 Louisville
I make no bones about my hatred of Duke and there is a tie between Rick Pitino and ODAC-member Guilford College that only a select few know about.  That direct link is enough to lift the Cardinals to the win.

12 Utah State vs. 13 Siena
I vacationed in Utah for a week a couple of years ago and it is a beautiful state.  Kevin Curtis of the Philadelphia Eagles (my favorite NFL team) played at Utah State.  Those are two more reasons to pick USU than I have for Siena.  Utah State moves on.

11 Old Dominion vs. 14 Sam Houston St.
Old Dominion has to win this one because who is looking on the horizon?  That’s right, a rematch with Villanova.  ODU wins.

2 Villanova vs. 7 Richmond
Same reason as above.  Destiny.  Nova wins.

Top 10 List

March 17, 2010

By: Kris Hoey
Head Women’s Cross Country/Assistant T&F Coach

Need More Cowbell?

If you walk into the track office this week you will notice anything and everything needed to put on 1st class Track Meet. That is because next weekend, we will be hosting the 2010 Track and Field Carnival.     Let me share with you the Top 10 Reasons you should come to the W&L Track and Field Carnival in 2010:

10. It is 2 days, March 26-27—If you can’t make it one day there are plenty of great races and competitions left on the other day.

9. We are hosting a Heptathlon/Decathlon—-Track and Field’s greatest athletes will compete in 7 events for the Women and 10 events for the Men over the 2 day meet.

8. A number of events will take place on Friday night under the lights including the Steeple Chase, the 4×4, Youth Mile, 1500, 5k and 10k.

7. To watch our very own compete in Track and Field—Our Athletes will be competing in their best events so come out and cheer them on!

6. To see some different teams—We have a wide variety for teams coming to our meet. From MIT and Carnegie Mellon to Ohio Northern to Elizabethtown, to Shippensburg, Lock Haven and Kutztown and our neighbors to the south Virginia Tech just to name a few.

5. High Quality Competition—Last year we had 4 National Qualifying performances coming out of the meet.  We expect even more this year.

4. To hear the latest and greatest, get your heart pumping and your head banging music for the athletes and spectators to listen to.

3. To get to see the TOP SECRET awards t-shirts—Always a coveted prize—they go to the top 3 in each event.  Look for the BLUE!

2. To watch the kids 50m—New to the docket this year.  My daughter Chase will be racing and will look to establish the meet record for the 2/3 year olds.  If you would like more information or to sign your child up for the race, please contact me at hoeyk@wlu.edu .

1. Lots of CowBell!—The distance night draws the kind of folks who enjoy the excitement of being right down on the track, in the face of the runners, ringing cowbells as they run past.  It is just something you’ve gotta experience.

Picking the first round

March 16, 2010

By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

In the past I’ve written about games, about athletes, about teams, about the weather and about the scenery.  I’ve written about W&L’s facilities and I’ve even provided a quiz for Generals’ fans.  Today’s writeup will feature something a little lighter.

Of course I would never fill out a bracket and gamble on the results of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, but over the next couple of days I will provide my mock bracket for your entertainment.  Today I pick the first round matchups.  Tomorrow I will do the second round and on Thursday morning, I’ll provide my picks for the Sweet 16, Elite Elight, Final Four and the National Championship.  Enjoy!

MIDWEST
First Round

1 Kansas vs. 16 Lehigh
I used to work at Lafayette and we were taught to hate Lehigh.  Going with Kansas.

8 UNLV vs. 9 Northern Iowa
UNLV’s campus is practically on the Strip and Kurt Warner went to Northern Iowa (I despise Warner for beating the Eagles in the 2009 NFC Championship game).  Going with UNLV.

5 Michigan State vs. 12 New Mexico State
My fiancée went to Michigan State.  Gotta go with the Spartans.  Plus, what the heck is an Aggie anyway?

4 Maryland vs. 13 Houston
My first assistant Andy Krauss went to Maryland and current sports info work study Marah Schmitz likes Maryland.  Plus the mascot is named Testudo. Going with the Terps.

6 Tennessee vs. 11 San Diego State
Because if I hear Rocky Top played for more than one game I may puke.  Plus San Diego is my favorite city not named Vegas to visit.  Gotta go with San Diego State.

3 Georgetown vs. 14 Ohio
I used to despise John Thompson II and the “Hoya Paranoya”.  My finacee’s brother went to Ohio and I can remember that Gary Trent was nicknamed the Shaq of the MAC.  Going with the Ohio Bobcats here.

7 Oklahoma State vs. 10 Georgia Tech
I once visited some distant relatives in Oklahoma and have since forgot their names.  I did buy some OK State gear while I was there and I’ve never owned anything with Georgia Tech on it.  Cowboys win it.

2 Ohio State vs. 15 UC Santa Barbara
In honor of Club Trillion I’ll go with the Buckeyes.  Gauchos is a cool mascot name though.

WEST
First Round

1 Syracuse vs. 16 Vermont
Taylor Coppenrath plays basketball in Spain now and Ben & Jerry’s is simply not powerful enough to carry the Catamounts.  Da’ Cuse rolls.

8 Gonzaga vs. 9 Florida State
Am I the only one that has seen the mid-major polish tarnish from the Zags?  It was cool to root for them as an underdog 5-6 years ago, now they end up crushing bracket dreams.  Not this year.  FSU moves on.

5 Butler vs. 12 UTEP
Glory Road was the story of the Texas Western Miners defeating Kentucky for the National Title in 1966.  Hoosiers was filmed in Butler’s Hinkle Field House.  Hoosiers was a much better movie.  Butler moves on.

4 Vanderbilt vs. 13 Murray State
I feel like I should pick Vanderbilt because my boss Jeff Hanna went to Vandy.  But how can you pick against a school whose most famous player was named Popeye JONES?  Murray State races onto the next round.

6 Xavier vs. 11 Minnesota
Former sports info assistant Austin Calhoun is pursuing her Ph.D. at Minnesota and current W&L men’s swimming coach Joel Shinofield used to coach at Minnesota.  What reason do I have to pick Xavier?  Exactly, the Golden Golphers move on.

3 Pittsburgh vs. 14 Oakland
This is interesting because the University of Pittsburgh is located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  I’m not sure that Oakland University’s campus has anything quite as cool as the Original Hot Dog shop so I’m going with Pitt in this one.

7 Brigham Young vs. 10 Florida
Erin Andrews went to Florida and I’m quite certain she is banned from setting foot inside of Utah since she may create chaos over the Polygamists trying to take her as a fourth wife.  Even though she is no Stacy Dales, Florida wins.

2 Kansas State vs. 15 North Texas
One glance from Frank Martin at the North Texas bench may have them rethinking their choice of Mean in their Mean Green nickname.  Martin is intense and UNT will melt under the Martin glare.  KSU wins.

EAST
First Round
1 Kentucky vs. 16 East Tennessee State

East Tennessee State dropped football and Kentucky just pretends to play football.  This is the only time ETSU has beaten the Wildcats to the punch.  The Wildcats roll in this one.

8 Texas vs. 9 Wake Forest
Just like Bill Self, I have such disdain for Rick Barnes.  Wake Forest moves on just because I don’t like Barnes … or the color burnt orange.

5 Temple vs. 12 Cornell
While I was a senior in high school and trying to decide where to go to college, my mom once told me that a school called Cornell had called me.  I thought that she was probably mistaken since I could never get into an Ivy League school, but I’ve never stopped hoping that they actually wanted to talk to me.  Temple is in the hood and I would be embarrassed to say they called for me.  Cornell moves on.

4 Wisconsin vs. 13 Wofford
Rachel hates Wisconsin because she hates Bo Ryan.  I have nothing against either and Bo Ryan is actually a Pennsylvania guy.  Plus, I like the fact that Mark Titus once referred to Wisconsin as the “Buzzcuts” in his Club Trillion blog.  Nothing could be more true.  The Badgers move on.

6 Marquette vs. 11 Washington
Rachel would kill me if I didn’t pick Marquette so “Go Warriors”.  Bring back the old nickname and “Al”.  Marquette wins.

3 New Mexico vs. 14 Montana
Gotta go with New Mexico because I thought I was showing my smarts the other night at poker when I stated that former NBA player Larry Krystkowiak was the coach at Montana.  Alas he left in 2006 and was the coach of the Milwaukee Bucks as recently as 2008.  Therefore, I hate Montana for making me look stupid in that situation.  Lobos move on.

7 Clemson vs. 10 Missouri
Oliver Purnell was the coach at Old Dominion when they crushed my hopes and defeated Big East Champion and third-seeded Villanova in triple overtime in the first round of the 1995 NCAA Tournament behind 35 points from Petey Sessoms.  Missouri wins because I’m still pissed.

2 West Virginia vs. 15 Morgan State
Morgan State Head Coach Todd Bozeman went from coaching in the NBA to coaching in the MEAC.  Gotta be a good reason for that one.  West Virginia’s team manager would coach the Mountaineers to the win if they let him.  WVU rolls.

SOUTH
First Round
1 Duke vs. Play-in Winner

No-brainer.  Gotta go Duke when you don’t know who they are playing because the opponents are straight garbage.  Plus former assistant SID Mollie Robertson is a Duke fan and this could qualify as throwing her a bone (and a shout out).

8 California vs. 9 Louisville
I have no ties with California, but I once had an interesting evening playing black jack for play chips with Louisville SID Kenny Klein at the CoSIDA convention in Orlando in 1999.  I will never forget him screaming “Big Dog” with every black jack and he’ll be screaming it again as the Cards win their opening round matchup.

5 Texas A&M vs. 12 Utah State
Former W&L law student and sports information game day assistant Spencer Cox went to Utah State and loved his Aggies.  He once apologized for not being able to work because his wife had just gone into labor … and offered to maybe come after the baby was delivered.  Gotta love that dedication.  USU has the same mindset and knocks off the “other” Aggies.

4 Purdue vs. 13 Siena
That Chris Kramer dude from Purdue has one of those looks that sort of pisses me off.  I’d love to see him lose and cry like Tebow.  For that reason, Siena wins.

6 Notre Dame vs. 11 Old Dominion
I also despise Luke Harangody and I like ODU SID Carol Hudson.  I’ll forgive the Monarchs in this case for the win over Nova and go with ODU.

3 Baylor vs. 14 Sam Houston St.
Sam Houston was born in Rockbridge County just north of Lexington.  Need I say more?  SHSU pulls the shocking 14-3 upset.

7 Richmond vs. 10 St. Mary’s
I always pulled for Richmond in the tournament during their remarkable upsets in the 1980’s and 90’s.  They were the first 15 seed to beat a two seed when they knocked off Syracuse in 1991.  They also beat Indiana as a 13 seed in 1988.  This one isn’t an upset, but I’m again pulling for the Spiders.

2 Villanova vs. 15 Robert Morris
I once sized up working at Robert Morris and decided it wasn’t the place for me even if it is located in Pittsburgh.  Only reason I need to pick Nova.

Stay tuned for the second round picks tomorrow.